‘It will be a big footprint in our marketing’: BMW is pouring money into esports

Digiday 22 Apr 2020 04:00

Three years on from its debut as an esports tournament sponsor, BMW is now the lead sponsor for five of the most popular gaming organizations — Fnatic in the U.K., Cloud9 in the U.S., FunPlus Phoenix in China, T1 in South Korea and G2 Esports in Germany. Deals like this aren’t common for advertisers with no obvious link to esports. But for those non-endemic advertisers like BMW that have steadily established those links, multiple sponsorships are a way to seal those credentials in multiple markets simultaneously.

“Esports is a way for us to reach generation z who aren’t interested in us now but there will come a time when they’re ready to buy a car and we should be in their mind when they do,” said Stefan Ponikva, head of BMW Brand Experience Shows & Events.

But the young kids who follow esports aren’t going to be watching more television in the future, said Ponikva. For that reason alone, esports will be one area that gets more marketing dollars. he added. So much so BMW’s esports spending could eventually match the large sums it spends on motorsport and golf, both of which account for a large part of the advertiser’s sports marketing outlay, said Ponikva.

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